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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there..

I do the jazz thing more often than not, but I have this evil little tendency towards "total cheese" as the people I play with call it.. or "that terrible David Sanborn thing"..

I've decided to see if I can do anything fun with that. Maybe get some jobs, who knows... I know wedding bands and house bands on talk shows (pipe dream) are all about that syrupy, super bright sax sound.. does anybody have advice on how to accentuate that? Any players you recommend? I don't have any idea about this stuff, is there anyone who does it who is actually good?
 

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Obviously Dave Sanborn.
And I hope that was tongue-in-cheek. Otherwise I might be forced to be rude.
There are already far too many people on this forum who regard jazz as the only form of music that has any merit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Uh, look buddy.. didn't I just say "I don't know anything about it"? How about *being helpful* instead of threatening to be rude.. honestly. :?

I like plenty of non-jazz music. But the couple of times I've tried listening to David Sanborn I found him heavy on the schmaltz... I'm wondering who does the cheesy stuff but backs it up. No need to be touchy.
 

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OK - sorry if I misunderstood. Must have lost something in the translation across the Atlantic.
But my advice still stands. Listen to Dave Sanborn - he does a lot more than schmaltz. If you don't think he's any good then I'm slightly puzzled as to why you want to go down this line.
Anyway, whether you like the music or not, his is the sound that most try to copy (on alto at least). So, get a MkVI and a Dukoff and practise cracking those high notes. Probably any high baffle mouthpiece blown with a certain amount of conviction will get you there (see Need More Edge thread in Tenor Sax).
Otherwise there's Maceo Parker, Greg Osby, Everette Harp, Candy Dulfer, Eric Marienthal, and many more (look at the Dave Sanborn thread in Misc. sax).
But if you want real cheese then Kenny G must be the champion.
 

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Did I say that? :oops:

I've no idea whether he is or not (but probably more so than, say, Peter Brotzmann) - I just used him as an example of a modern tone that might be worth listening to.

Grover Washington would be another good one to listen to.
 

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Controlling that "syrupy, super-bright sax sound" takes practice. A dark sound can hide a less than perfect air support system or embouchure.

By "cheese" if you mean smooth jazz, you should realize that what makes the music commercial is not the tone; rather, it is playing popular songs (usually songs originally recorded by a vocalist) and adhering closely to the melodic line. The reason we call this "commercial" is because the number of listeners who are capable of appreciating this music is a much larger audience than those who appreciate classical or abstract jazz. Also, the listener can grasp the musical content while doing other things - like shopping or driving.

Please consider that:
(A) a syrupy, super-bright tone can be applied to rock and r&b music that contains more musical development than the typical smooth jazz arrangement.
(B) commercial work does not require a syrupy, super-bright tone
(C) you can be capable of playing both commerical and more abstract music
(D) this is your life. you get to be who you want. you can be a musical snob pleasing only a small group of overly fastidious listeners. you can please many listeners. you can pursue raising the level of the art of saxophone. you can pay the bills. you can do all of it at the appropriate time/place.
 

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I wouldn't put Osby in that group, for sure.
Sandborn doesn't play jazz, at all[not that there's anything wrong with that]. I heard him try, he just "skates."
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's right, Berg.. that's what i'm after.

Balladeer - I am not talking smooth jazz. Smooth jazz = melody + reverb + canned accompaniment. If you'd like to read my initial question, I want recommendations of *good players* who use a commercial sound, but are nonetheless good.
By "commercial" I mean modern blues and R&B among other things. I do play that stuff, and to me, it's cheesy. Not in a bad way.

I'm not sure what you're trying to get at with your A B C D system... I know that stuff, and D sounds rather lecture-y. Asking for players, not lectures. Thanks anyway though, I'm sure you didn't mean to condescend.
:)

Thanks Nick for your recommendations.. and others for the replies.. I do listen to Maceo, he's great.. maybe I just listened to the wrong Sanborn record, is there any particular one I should get? I'm interested in funky, R&B stuff.

I'm a loud, bright player to begin with... on a Dukoff it's too much. I play a berg with a medium baffle. I'm interested in developing a more over the top commercial tone. I need to lift it to be able to do it right. Kenny G won't help me.. I don't think I could learn much from his playing. Barely hear his tone under all that reverb anyway.
Thanks guys..
 

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Berg astutely cleared up the meaning of "commercial." Now perhaps we can find out what "cheesy" means.

Alex, you equate modern blues and R&B with "cheesy," then go on to say "not in a bad way." So I have no idea whatsoever what you mean by "cheesy." In this context, it sounds like a negative term to me. Following your reasoning, Maceo's playing is cheesy. But I guess I'm not sure what you mean by modern blues either. To me, modern blues would refer to the more sophisticated blues changes used by jazz players like Charlie Parker, Coltrane, etc.

I have an idea of what you're asking, but the terminology is getting in the way of a clear idea.
 

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I just heard some serious funkiness by saxophonist-flutist Karl Denson. Not exactly my thing but he might be the sound you're looking for and plays with real musicians like Chris Wood and Charlie Hunter. The cd I have is called "Dance Lesson #2." Also you might like some of Gerald Albright's stuff.

-ANDYJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
sja, sounds cool.. I'll see if I can check him out..

JL... okay... maybe I'm too used to addressing jazz people.. by cheesy I mean commercial. Blues cliches and all that. I find that stuff really cheesy. I also think it's good. If cheesy is an inherently insulting thing to you, then I apologize.

Sorry for saying modern blues. I meant newish blues groups (past 2 or 3 decades) playing more rock influenced stuff. Not jazz blues. Sorry for not knowing the correct "term", I'd no idea.
 

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Alex: A couple of Sanborn albums you could try are Close Up and Upfront.

Off at a slight tangent, have you heard Morphine? It's probably not quite what you're after (baritone, bass/vocals, drums) but might give you a few ideas.
 
G

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Okay, having cleared the way for elaboration:

Here are my entries on the Cheese-O-Meter

Hank Crawford = Bleu
Coltrane = Rat Trap Cheddar
Getz = Kraft American (sliced)
Grover Washington = Gorgonzola
Becker = Limberger
David Sanborn = Velveeta
Kenny G = CheezWhiz

Feel free to modify or otherwise dissect this Kodak Moment!
 

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LOL!!!!!! Berg Ripoff makes sense. I see the light! I guess your term applies well after all, Alex, although I find it hard to equate blues with cheesy. By the way, I'm not insulted; in fact I'm pretty immune to being insulted. But here's what I always thought of as cheesy: Barry Manilow at Harrahs, or something like that. And, as I've said before, jazz IS blues; without the blues it ain't jazz. Maybe there's a zen mondo in all this.......
 

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Mr Sandborn have just released a new album; Timeagein. it's a bit different from other things i've heard from him. hipper and cooler but yes, it gooes high up on the Cheese-O-meter. Some are cool and some u get a laugh at
 

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Cheez. It used to be just the legit cats that had this 'holier than thou' condescending attitude toward any 'lower' form of musical expression. Now, it's apparently spread to the 'straight ahead' jazz clique. And to think that 'jazz' has risen so far above it's tawdry origins in Storyville that it's would-be practicioners are now able to look down on commercial players, labeling even the most sucessful of them as 'cheesy'! Jazz 'players' (mainly students, I think from the tone of this kind of comment) - don't become dogmatic in your studies of jazz - keep an open mind. Some of you would set such strict parameters that only a handful of the Greats would be included as true jazz players. If this trend continues, the ultimate result will be labeling all jazz as commercial except that which is devoid of all musical form and rhythm, since only that can be the ultimate form of expression. Then we can all sit around clenching our teeth as we appreciate this cacophony. But hey, even that has been tried, and is regarded a legitimate jazz form, but that's my point - there's plenty of room out there for all of us and all of our music. We just don't need to be turning up our noses at people who are trying to succeed in a different form of jazz than ourselves. To dismiss David Sanborn or any other artist in such a fashion is indicative of a lack of understanding of jazz and it's origins, and a very limited appreciation of music in general.
 

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Alex, some cats to check out would be...Nelson Rangell, Brandon Fields, Warren Hill, Andy Snitzer, Everett Harp, Eric Marienthal, Candy Dulfer, Chris Hunter, Dave Koz, Mike Phillips...all these sax player were influenced by David Sanborn, and you can hear it in their playing. Other RnB and Funk players to check out would be....Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, Tom Scott, Najee, Boney James, Maceo Parker, Richard Elliot, Grover Washington Jr., George Howard....There are alot of cats that I didn't mention but these are a few cats to start with. Try and listen to as many "contemporary" saxophonist as you can. You'll eventually find the ones that you like. At that point transcribe some of their solos and try to dublicate the sound that you hear. And by all means check out David Sanborn, if that's the type of sound you're going for, go to the source.
 

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For tenor contemp sound I like Steve Cole, Euge Groove, and Bryan Steel alot. The trick is to be able to create simple melodies that are easy to remember. (The hook as I recall back in songwriting class in college.) These guys do that well and can play the heck out of their horns to boot. I know what you mean by syrupy. It's hard (for me anyway) to put in all the inflections I hear without really losing the intonation and sounding "syrupy". Easy to fall into the habit of scooping way too many notes. Lots of people out there to learn from. Go to it. K
 
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